The Mary Robinson Foundation Approach to Climate Justice

September 3, 2018 Scott Fletcher Bowlsby
September 3, 2018 Claire Buchanan

The Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice has a unique way of working guided by Principles of Climate Justice. The method contains three parts: thought leadership, bridging, and convening.

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Problems and Purpose

The Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice adopted the Principles of Climate Justice as their guiding principles. They adopted these principles because climate justice links human rights and development to safeguard the rights of the most vulnerable. Additionally, the Principles of Climate Justice help ensure that solutions are equally equitable and fair.[1]

The Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice also used three core pillars for their working methods: thought leadership, bridging, and convening. These three pillars have allowed the foundation to be successful in their work, ensuring a ‘leave no one behind’ approach is taken to climate change discussions and development polices. [1]

Origins and Development

The Mary Robinson Foundation Method has been used by the organization since 2010. The method was developed because of the organizations unique postion in civil society and policy-makers. [1]

Participant Recruitment and Selection

How it Works: Process, Interaction, and Decision-Making

The Mary Robinson Foundation Method is focused on bringing together multi-disciplinary stakeholders. It is a people-centred approach that is informed by human rights. 

Thought Leadership

This pillar refers to the organization working with thought leaders in their field of expertise. These individuals/organization are informed and can be considered the ‘go-to’ people in their field for their expertise opinions. Mary Robinson Foundation is considered to be a thought leader on issues of climate justice and climate change action. Part of thought leadership is helping generate ideas, as we as action to make those ideas become a reality. Thought leadership also refers to seeking out experts in certain field for their opinions, which promotes collaboration and working together across fields. 


This pillar refers to linking/bringing together unconnected things. In the Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice’s work this often means bringing grassroots movements for climate justice together with world leaders and policy makers. Bridging is a powerful message to bring together different areas of expertise to create powerful change. Bridging moves away from the soiled approach. 


The third, and final pillar, is convening. Convening refers to bringing people, from different fields and sectors, to meet and discuss climate action. Convening is one of the foundations key methods. The foundation identified the power convening has to bring an unusual mix of actors together to start dialogue and seek solutions to climate change. [1]

Influence, Outcomes, and Effects

Analysis and Lessons Learned

See Also 

Principles of Climate Justice 

Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice 


[1] "How We Work," Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice, September 24, 2012,

External Links


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